U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

High Altitude Research Lab

The Pikes Peak Summit Complex was the highest ongoing construction site in North America during its construction. This challenging project created a facility that takes advantage of the inspiring views and natural beauty of Pikes Peak, also known as America’s Mountain.

Colorado Springs, CO
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
RTA Architects


Total Square Feet

Military training at 14,115 feet

The Big Picture

The High Altitude Research Lab (HARL), located on the west side of the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex at the summit of Pikes Peak, enhances the Army’s ability to conduct medical research and prepare warfighters for battle. The facility features a fully functioning dormitory, kitchen, and day room capable of accommodating 10 people. The unique design includes poly-iso rigid insulation within the precast panels and a traditional build-up ballasted roofing system, resulting in a highly efficient building in terms of utilities.

The exterior façade of the HARL uses the same stone installed in the newly constructed, adjacent Pikes Peak Summit Complex, creating uniformity in the buildings as well as cost savings. The stone masonry allows visitors to the mountain to enjoy the immaculate scenery without manmade-looking buildings interrupting their views.

Ingenuity in Action

Some of the medical breakthroughs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers previously discovered on Pikes Peak have led to the Food and Drug Administration’s only approved altitude sickness prevention medicine, a better understanding of soldiers’ nutrition and hydration needs at high altitude, as well as guidance to optimally help soldiers acclimatize to a high-altitude environment. The new facility enhances our nation’s ability to continue conducting high-altitude medical research.

Feet Altitude where acute mountain sickness is common with soldiers experiencing symptoms like headaches, vomiting, fatigue, lassitude, or trouble sleeping.
Feet above sea level – the highest construction project in the U.S.
The little details
Scroll to Top